Soccer

Added-Time: Taking a Look Back at Week 13 in the EPL

{eot}
Shane McNeil, TSN.ca
11/26/2012 12:13:58 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

Added-Time takes a look back at Week 13 of the English Premier League season to get you caught up on all the important results, stories and moments. This week, Manchester United reclaimed the top of the table, Rafael Benitez felt the wrath of Stamford Bridge and West Brom kept up its improbable ascendancy.

STORIES OF THE WEEK

So many of this week's top stories happened off the pitch, that the game-day action was by and large an extension of what the tabloids had already set out.

Few were surprised by Queens Park Rangers' decision to sack manager Mark Hughes prior to their weekend match against Manchester United. The only real surprise to the decision was that it took that long in the first place.

QPR has been terrible this season. They entered the weekend as the only team in English football without a win this season.

Not the Premier League, mind you, the entirety of English football… extending all the way down to the English Conference (England's fifth-best league).

Bringing in former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp can only do so much for a team with a minus-16 goal differential that is seemingly destined for relegation less than halfway into the season, but his experience on the sidelines can't really make the team much worse.

Speaking of worse, however, QPR once again found themselves in the loss column on Saturday.

The club seemed set to turn the Premiership on its head when Jamie Mackie gave the struggling London club a shocking 1-0 advantage over United thanks to a goalmouth pounce in the 52nd minute, but any momentum the goal created seemed to go straight to the legs of the Red Devils.

United struck three times in a span of just eight minutes, started by surprising marksmen Jonny Evans and new-addition Darren Fletcher and finished by yet another strong finish from Javier Hernandez who claimed his fourth goal in his last four Premiership appearances.

It was an impressive 10 minutes from United, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson still worried that the team's come-from-behind luck might soon wear out.

"It is worrying that we keep falling behind like this," Ferguson told UK tabloid The Mirror. "We can't keep doing it."

"We were a bit too lethargic today but once we started playing I don't think there was any doubt we would win."

Meanwhile, another off-field move stunned England this week as Chelsea sacked Roberto Di Matteo, the man that turned the team's 2011-12 season around and made them European Champions. The team's first home game under new interim boss Rafael Benitez was one filled with venom and disappointment.

Chelsea sits on the precipice of a first-round exit from Champions League this season and to make matters worse, the team has tumbled from a perfect record to a third place club looking up at a pair of Manchester clubs in the span of less than a month.

The team was faced with an opportunity to reverse its fortunes this weekend, hosting defending Premiership champs Manchester City at the Bridge, but neither team seemed intent on mounting much of an attack.

Neither club was able to put much on target throughout 90 minutes, playing to a goalless draw while the London faithful showered Benitez with abuse.

The heckling didn't seem to faze the 52-year-old Spaniard.

"I know that it will be a question of time," Benitez told the BBC. "Keep doing things as a professional, try to win games and I think they will be fine. I think they will realize I will try to do my best for the team."

Taking full advantage of Chelsea's misstep was West Bromwich Albion, who moved up to third in the table with a 4-2 victory over Sunderland.

The Baggies have rolled through November without a loss and currently enjoy not only a one-point advantage over Chelsea but a five-point advantage over fifth-place Everton, putting the team firmly within the Champions League zone, albeit with more than half the season remaining.

Few would call Sunderland stiff competition, but the Baggies had control of the game from the half-hour mark all the way to a victory-sealing added-time Marc-Antoine Fortune penalty.

The better news for West Brom is that the road ahead offers an opportunity to stay within the top four. Of their remaining 2012 games, three are against teams that currently sit in the bottom half of the table (Stoke and Norwich City at home and a visit to QPR) and the other three offer a chance to distance themselves from the pack immediately behind them (away to Swansea and Arsenal and at home against West Ham) before finishing the year at Old Trafford.

RESULT OF THE WEEK

Spurs' 3-1 win over West Ham didn't shake the foundations of the league but it might prove to be the turnaround Tottenham needs to get back into the conversation for European competition.

The club returned to White Hart Lane after tough road losses to City and Arsenal and snapped a three-game losing streak overall thanks largely to the efforts of Jermain Defoe, who opened the scoring with a long-range strike after an exceptional individual effort. He would net a gift-pass from Aaron Lennon in all alone for Spurs' final goal of the match.

The win allowed Spurs to leapfrog the Hammers into seventh in the table and put them within a win of moving ahead of teams like Arsenal and Everton to challenge for a spot in the top four.

LOOKING AHEAD

It's a short turnaround for the Premiership this week as the teams get back at it starting on Tuesday. We have one mid-week EPL game on TSN2 as West Ham United travels to Old Trafford for a date with Manchester United, Wednesday at 2:55pm et/11:15am pt.



Podcasts

TSN 690: oranges at halftime: Patrice bernier: sep 11

In depth chat with the Impact Captain who celebrated a milestone 50th Cap for Canada.

TSN 690: oranges at halftime: Gareth Wheeler; sep 11

Laughs a plenty as we chat all things Premier with the host of #BPL on #TSNRadio

TSN 690 - oranges @ halftime: 9 September Nick De Santis

The Impact's newly appointed International Business Development Director explains what his role with the club is


More Podcasts

Premier League Shows on TSN.ca

TSN.ca is Canada's exclusive home to highlight and feature programs from the Barclay's Premier League. Check out the latest programs on VOD below.


Net Busters

See all the goals, saves, bloopers and quotes from each week

- Episode 4

Previous episodes:3 | 2 | 1


BPL Match Pack

Weekly match preview show using interesting facts & figures

- Week 3

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television